Director of Counseling
302.658.7158, ext. 6276
Erin Barillare ’95
Upper School Counselor
302.658.7158, ext. 6239
Counseling Administrative Assistant
302.658.7158, ext. 6227
At Ursuline Academy, we pride ourselves on providing you with the support and resources needed to not only excel in our Upper School but also at the college of your choice. In keeping with that tradition, our Counseling Department has developed and perfected a comprehensive approach to help you understand the college admission process from start to finish, which is why 100% of our graduates consistently go on to attend fantastic colleges and universities throughout the country.
It is our goal that students be accountable and proactively engaged in the processes of self-evaluation and research that are paramount in helping each student find her perfect college fit. Open discussion and collaboration are encouraged with families. Counselors will help students learn to identify their goals and interests, understand how to manage the complex process of college admissions, and help them to eventually make confident decisions about where and how they will choose to pursue their higher education.
As a Freshman, you will get to know your counselor right away. Ursuline students will have the same counselor for all four years of high school. From the start, your counselor will make sure you are on the best path possible to prepare you for the college admissions process, and you will receive your personalized Naviance account. With the help of your counselor, you will navigate our comprehensive course catalog, which sets you on the right academic path from the beginning by aligning our courses with your academic interests. In the fall, you will also learn about our extracurricular activities, including clubs, service opportunities, and leadership programs. You will begin to get more comfortable with college admissions standardized testing by taking the PSAT 8/9 in the winter of your freshman year, and your counselor will review your results with you in the spring. At that time, your counselor works with you to explain what colleges look for in a potential student and how you can best prepare for the process. In the spring, you will also select your sophomore-year courses with assistance from your counselor.
As a Sophomore, your counselor works with you to identify career and life goals through career discovery and exploration activities, including a number of personality and career-interest inventories. With your personalized results in hand, you explore a variety of career awareness opportunities and informational resources tailored to your specific interests, paving the way towards a potential career path. In October, you take the PSAT/NMSQT as practice for the SAT and receive your results in January. At that time, you review how colleges use standardized testing scores in admissions decisions, and you work with your counselor to identify the steps and resources necessary to achieve your goals. In the spring, you and your family are invited to attend our Sophomore Parent Night program, which focuses on what to keep in mind as you begin the process of visiting and researching specific universities. Also in the spring, you select your junior-year courses with assistance from your counselor.
As a Junior, you will again take the PSAT/NMSQT in October both for continued practice and for possible recognition as a National Merit Scholar. A review of your individual results takes place in the winter with your counselor. Throughout the fall, you are encouraged to meet with the many college representatives that come to visit our campus. In second semester, you will be enrolled in our small-group Junior Advisory course which focuses on the college research and application process. Junior Advisory will help you gain a better understanding of what you are looking for in your college experience. Upon completion of the course, you will have a realistic list of colleges that fit your criteria and profile as a student to continue visiting over the summer. The Counseling Department also offers a series of nighttime events in junior year, including sessions on financial aid, the realities of the college admission process, and strategies in college admissions.
As a Senior, you hit the ground running and begin preparing for college applications on the first day of school. Your counselor administers a needs assessment and works with you individually and as often as necessary to move your college applications forward. All applications are reviewed by your counselor, and all supporting documents are gathered and officially submitted through the Counseling Department. You will use your Naviance account to track your applications throughout the fall. Throughout the fall, you will also continue to meet with the college representatives that visit our campus. In February, a member of the Dean of Students Office at the University of Delaware conducts a Senior Transition Workshop to prepare you for the adjustment to college life both academically and socially, with a particular emphasis on campus safety and personal security. Our Counseling Department tracks admission results throughout the year and assistance is given, if needed, in helping you decide which college to attend. You will receive unlimited support during every phase of the college selection, application, admission, and financial aid processes.